The Institute at Renfrew is a non-profit organization serving the region with outdoor programming in environmental education, interpretation of a historic Pennsylvania German farmstead and a wide variety of family events. Activities are conducted on the site of Renfrew Museum and Park.(Please note that The Institute at Renfrew operates independently from Renfrew Museum and Park.)

The mission of the Institute at Renfrew is to guide the people of the Cumberland Valley region to become stewards of their natural and cultural worlds. To achieve its mission, the Institute:
• provides environmental and cultural education to elementary and secondary school children,
• supports and conducts research about natural and cultural history,
• provides opportunities for adults to learn about the nature and culture of the region and the world,
• presents programs that inform and entertain the community.

Dual Position Summary
The person hired for this position will fulfill two roles:
1.) The Director of the Pennsylvania German Four-Square Garden is a dynamic and energetic individual who maintains the garden year-round. The director also teaches garden programs for school children during the spring and fall. Public outreach and conducting garden programs for all ages are included in this position. Availability: Garden duties are year-round with fewer hours in the winter months. School programs are taught in spring and fall.
2.) The Historical & Environmental Studies Educator is a dynamic and energetic individual, with proven experience leading programs for school children. The educator will be responsible for the delivery of environmental and cultural history programs, pre-K through middle school.  Availability: Educators are expected to teach 3–5 days/week during the fall and spring teaching seasons (mid-August through mid-November and mid-March through early June), and to attend training sessions and regular staff meetings.

More details of the position are available here.

Renfrew Institute Hold Youth Fest on May 26

Renfrew Institute Hold Youth Fest on May 26

“Be a Hero!” is the theme for Renfrew Institute’s 30th annual Youth Festival on Sunday, May 26 from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. at Renfrew Park in Waynesboro, Pa. The event is free and open to the public.Geared for kids of all ages, the event features a variety of workshops, demonstrations, activities, and entertainment throughout the day.“Heroes are found in all walks of life—we are celebrating community heroes, first responders, pet rescuers, and many more everyday heroes,” said Jessica Watson, the institute’s assistant director. “Kids will enjoy an interactive experience that is fun and educational.”

In keeping with the theme, the featured guest entertainment, at 2:15 p.m., will be “Heroic King Arthur and the Sword and the Stone,” performed by members of the Maryland Entertainment Group (MEG).The fast-paced show performed by two actors playing multiple roles tells the story of how Arthur becomes King. The tale of young Arthur is full of castles, wizards, magic, and a special feat that earns Arthur the crown.“This is a fun, interactive, and kid-friendly tale of The Sword in the Stone, where an unlikely hero becomes the champion of his people,” Watson said. MEG’s mission is to provide “exceptional and relevant performing and visual arts to the greater Hagerstown area and surrounding community, for the purposes of diversifying and enriching the artistic offerings in the area, providing opportunities for artists and performers, and cultivating a broader arts audience.”

At 4:30 p.m. the Waynesboro Children’s Theatre Troupe returns to its roots with a revue of favorite show tunes, featuring a selection of Broadway classics and songs from the stage and screen. A Hero Hunt will celebrate 30 years of Youth Fest—kids can search for 30 special wooden necklaces hidden throughout the lower park. (Please, one find per family.)

Workshops and fun activities run from 1:00–2:00 p.m. and 3:30–4:30 p.m. and are open to all ages.and include:

• Paper Bag Hero: Create your own “paper bag hero puppet” to display on the Art Clothesline, with Amber Naugle.

• Stories that Save the Day: Enjoy stories of victors and avengers with Alexander Hamilton Memorial Library.

• Protectors of our Planet: Kathy Helfrick and Jane Glenn will lead park citizens in a fun environmental project, making “Flower Seed Bombs.”

• Fantastic Beasts: Observe diverse critters you know and love from your own backyard, up close with Sheila and Bryan Eyler.

• Pup Protectors: Knick Knack Pittie Pack introduces their rescued dogs.

• Ambulance Avengers: Meet the heroes of Waynesboro Ambulance Squad who save lives every day in our community.

• Super Sensory Powers: Explore special sensory packets to enhance fine motor play skills with First Start Partnerships for Children & Families.

• Pollinators for the Planet: Keep the buzz going when Kim Sheffler leads a Mason Bee Home project.

• Paddling for Peace & Justice: Charge your way through the waterway as you paddle a stretch of our own Antietam Creek with Mr. Mike Dudash as your guide. (Bring water shoes, dry clothes and a towel for after your paddle.)Youth

Children must be accompanied by an adult. For more information, contact the institute at (717) 762-0373 or email to: info@renfrewinstitute.org. Fliers are available at www.renfrewinstitute.org. For those wishing to have lunch in the park, St. Andrew Catholic Church Youth Group will be hosting a food concession.

Youth Festival is underwritten in part by lead sponsors, John and Debbie Beck, and by contributions to the Today’s Horizon Fund by The Nora Roberts Foundation; The John R. Hershey Jr. and Anna L. Hershey Family Foundation; APX Enclosures, Inc.; and The Carolyn Terry Eddy Family: Carolyn, with daughters Connie Fleagle & Kim Larkin. Facility support courtesy of Renfrew Museum. The event was organized by co-chairs Jessica McCleary and Terri Smith. Parking is available behind the visitors center, with additional parking in Renfrew’s lower lot off Welty Road. Rain location is Waynesboro Area Middle School.

Renfrew Museum & Park Seeks Executive Director

Renfrew Museum & Park Seeks Executive Director

Renfrew Museum and Park is seeking candidates for Executive Director.  The Executive Director acts as CEO of the organization, and reports directly to the non-profit Renfrew Committee Inc’s board of directors.  Responsibilities include mission, vision, and values adherence, strategic plan implementation, fundraising and financial development, fiscal management, staff management and development, collections management, and facilities oversight.

Renfrew is a beautifully restored 1800s Pennsylvania German farmstead and 107-acre community park.  Located in south central PA, approximately 75 miles from the Baltimore/Washington metropolitan area and 25 miles from Gettysburg, Renfrew attracts tens of thousands of visitors per year.  Originally given to the Borough of Waynesboro by the Nicodemus family, the last private owners of this property, Renfrew Museum and Park opened in 1975.  Renfrew houses the largest public collection of Bell family and Shenandoah pottery in the nation and a fantastic collection of historic tools and artifacts.

Professional Qualifications:

  • A bachelor’s degree preferred
  • Museum, historic preservation, or related experience preferred
  • Five or more years senior nonprofit or business management experience preferred
  • Solid, hands-on, budget management skills, including budget preparation, analysis, decision-making and reporting
  • Strong organizational abilities including planning, delegating, program development and task facilitation
  • Ability to convey a vision of Renfrew Museum and Park’s strategic plan to staff, board, volunteers and donors.
  • Knowledge of fundraising strategies and donor relations unique to the nonprofit sector
  • Marketing experience helpful
  • Strong collaborative skills and experience necessary
  • Strong written and oral communication skills
  • Demonstrated ability to oversee and collaborate with staff
  • Strong public speaking skills

Interested candidates should send cover letter and resume to info@renfrewmuseum.org.  For more information, please visit our website www.renfrewmuseum.org.

Renfrew Jazz Festival Coming August 26

Renfrew Jazz Festival Coming August 26

Renfrew Institute’s 27th annual Jazz Festival is scheduled for Sunday, August 26, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. on the lawn behind the Renfrew Museum house in Waynesboro, Pa. The concert features world-renowned musicians and is offered free to the public.

This year’s concert will feature legendary jazz trumpeter Randy Brecker, pianist Richard Sussman, saxophonist Ada Rovatti, bassist Drew Gress, and drummer Clarence Penn.

“Each one of these artists is an internationally renowned jazz musician,” said event organizer, Andrew Sussman. “The concert is a unique opportunity to hear them play together—and it’s all free in beautiful Renfrew Park!”

Lead sponsor, FirstEnergy Foundation on behalf of West Penn Power, is returning this year to support the event. “We are proud to help sponsor this marvelous concert that brings extraordinarily talented jazz musicians and vocalists to our backyard for our customers and others to enjoy,” said David McDonald, president of West Penn Power.

Jazz trumpeter and composer, Randy Brecker has helped shape the sound of jazz, R&B and rock for more than four decades. His performances have graced hundreds of albums by a wide range of artists from James Taylor, Bruce Springsteen and Parliament/Funkadelic to Frank Sinatra, Steely Dan, and Frank Zappa. In 1967, Brecker ventured into jazz-rock with the band Blood, Sweat and Tears, but left to join the Horace Silver Quintet. He recorded his first solo album, “Score,” in 1968. After Horace Silver, Brecker joined Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers before teaming up with brother Michael, Barry Rogers, Billy Cobham, and John Abercrombie to form the seminal fusion group Dreams.

The group recorded two adventurous and widely-acclaimed albums before they disbanded in 1971. In the early 1970s, Brecker performed live with many prominent artists including Larry Coryell’s Eleventh House, Stevie Wonder and Billy Cobham. By 1975, Brecker and his brother Michael were ready to front their own group, the Brecker Brothers Band. A band of immeasurable impact and influence, they released six albums on Arista and garnered seven Grammy nominations between 1975 and 1981. Since then, his credits and awards are far too numerous to list here. Over the years, Brecker has received 18 Grammy Award nominations and won a total of six, and remains one of the most celebrated and highly respected jazz musicians in the world.

Richard Sussman is an accomplished jazz pianist, composer, music technologist, educator, and author. He has performed with many jazz and pop greats including Lionel Hampton, Lee Konitz, Houston Person, Buddy Rich, Randy Brecker, Blood Sweat & Tears, David Sanborn, Marty Balin, Country Joe McDonald, and Donna Summer. As a leader, Sussman has recorded five critically-acclaimed albums of original music, including the classic “Free Fall” and his most recent, “The Evolution Suite” for jazz quintet, string quartet, and electronics. His large ensemble arrangements have been performed by the Village Vanguard Orchestra, Metropole Orchestra of Holland, and the American Composers Orchestra in New York. Sussman has been a member of the jazz faculty at the Manhattan School of Music since 1986, where his responsibilities have included teaching and developing curriculum for jazz arranging and composition classes and managing all aspects of the Electronic Music Technology Studios. His book, Jazz Composition and Arranging in the Digital Age (Oxford University Press), has been hailed as a comprehensive and trend-setting text for jazz composers in the 21st century.  Sussman has received numerous awards including two NEA grants in Jazz Composition, an ASCAP Jazz Composition Award, and a Chamber Music America New Jazz Works grant. His extensive work in the field of film and TV has included projects for ABC, NBC, CBS, Disney, and Nickelodeon.

Italian native Ada Rovatti started playing saxophone in high school after years of classical piano training. She won a scholarship from Berklee College of Music in Italy, and divided her time between Boston—where she studied with Joe Viola and George Garzone—and Italy, where she worked in big bands with guest artists such as Phil Woods, Lee Konitz, Bob Mintzer, Randy Brecker.

After a year touring Europe and Africa she moved to New York City. She has performed in important festivals such as JVC in NYC, Rochester Jazz Festival, IAJE, Detroit Jazz Fest and Montreal Jazz Fest, performing with an impressive list of artists and bands such as Mike Stern, Randy Brecker, Miroslav Vitous, John McLaughlin, James Moody, Bob Mintzer, Joanne Brackeen, Aretha Franklin, Herbie Hancock, Jimmy Heath, Patti Austin, and many more. In addition to her musical expertise Rovatti appeared in the movie, “Mona Lisa Smile” featuring Julia Roberts.

In 2003 Rovatti released her first two CDs as a bandleader with the Elephunk Band and with guests Randy Brecker, Mike Stern and Don Alias. Her latest album, “Green Factor” is a unique recording with a melting pot of Irish/Celtic/jazz/fusion influences with strong harmonies and sophisticated arrangements. She has been touring with the Brecker Brothers Reunion Band and just released with the same band a double CD/DVD.

Bassist/composer Drew Gress performs extensively with artists on the cutting edge of contemporary improvised music. His latest project, “The Irrational Numbers,” features Gress’s original compositions for quintet. Earlier releases include the critically acclaimed “7 Black Butterflies” (2005), “Spin & Drift” (2001), and “Heyday” (1997). Gress can also be heard within the ensembles of John Abercrombie, Ralph Alessi, Tim Berne, Don Byron, Uri Caine, Ravi Coltrane, Marc Copland, Mark Feldman, Fred Hersch, John Hollenbeck, and John Surman. He has also grounded the performances of Buddy Hackett, Phyllis Diller, Zoot Sims, Cab Calloway, and Pia Zadora. Gress has toured North and South America, Europe, and Asia, and has served as Artist-in-Residence at St. Petersburg Conservatory in Russia and at the Paris Conservatoire. He has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Meet the Composer, and Chamber Music America, and currently resides in New York.

Clarence Penn is one of the busiest jazz drummers in the world, a leader of multiple bands, a composer, a prolific producer, and an educator. Since he arrived in New York City in 1991, Penn has played with Ellis and Wynton Marsalis, Betty Carter, Stanley Clarke, Steps Ahead, Makoto Ozone, Michael Brecker, Dave Douglas, Maria Schneider, Luciana Souza, Richard Galliano, and Fourplay. His discography includes several hundred studio albums (including the Grammy-winning recordings by Randy Brecker and Maria Schneider) and he has toured extensively throughout the world. Penn has also composed music for films and produced tracks for numerous singers in the pop and alternative arenas. He earned a “Ten Best of 1997” accolade from the New York Times for his first leader recording, “Penn’s Landing.” Penn is also active as an educator and drum clinician and has taught on the faculty of the Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music, the Stanford Jazz Workshop, the Saint Louis College of Music in Rome, Italy, and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Intensive Jazz Institute. His most recent recording is “Monk: The Lost Files” which features modern arrangements of the music of Thelonious Monk.

Support for this event was provided by lead sponsor, FirstEnergy Foundation on behalf of West Penn Power. In addition, Renfrew Institute receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. Further sponsors include Franklin County Visitors Bureau, Stephen D. Fisher, and Renfrew Institute’s Today’s Horizon Fund contributors: The Nora Roberts Foundation; APX Enclosures, Inc.; The Carolyn Terry Eddy Family: Carolyn, with daughters Connie Fleagle & Kim Larkin; and the John R. Hershey Jr. and Anna L. Hershey Family Foundation. Facility support is provided courtesy of Renfrew Museum and Park.

Parking is available behind the visitors center, with additional parking in the lower lot off Welty Road. Those attending are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets, and picnics are welcome. Rain site: Waynesboro Area Middle School auditorium.

For more information call Renfrew Institute at 717-762-0373, or visit www.renfrewinstitute.org.